Monday, March 12, 2012

Spanish Rice, Another Fattening Salad, and Gazpacho

Today we will finish up the dishes from Saturday's party and then we will talk some nonsense, because it is important for one ((meaning me)) to go with one's strengths ((meaning nonsense.))


First, the Spanish rice.  I have tried countless of the "box" versions of Spanish or Mexican rice and always found them to be totally blah.  This, however, was miles apart from that and tastes like the stuff you get in a Mexican restaurant.  A real one.  Not some homogenized chain which relies on overly loud "festive" music to distract you and/or drive you to drinking twelve dollar margaritas.

Arroz ((your Spanish lesson for the day))
What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa ((I used Trader Joe's chunky medium salsa))

What you do:

This is easy...  Just heat the oil in a heavy pan and sautee the onion until it is translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.  Mix the rice into the skillet and allow the rice to start to brown, stirring frequently.  Stir in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat, add the salsa, cover, and allow the rice to absorb the liquid.  This will take about 20 minutes.  Give it a stir every few minutes to be sure that it isn't sticking to the bottom.  Taste test liberally...  You can always top this with some shredded Mexican cheese, a squeeze of lime, some cilantro, or a dollop of sour cream.

I made a quadruple batch of this and it disappeared very quickly.

Nutritional Info:  260 calories and 6 grams of fat ((without add-ons like cheese, sour cream, etc)) for about a 1/3 cup serving.

This recipe is also slightly adapted from


How about a fattening salad?  I say, why not?

Fiesta Non-Salad Salad

What you need:

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can of black olives, sliced
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese ((I won't tell if you use 2 though))
4 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
1/3 bottle or so of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing with bacon
1 cup of corn tortilla chips, smashed

What you do:

Throw all of the above in a bowl.  Shake the living hell out of it until it is thoroughly coated.  Hopefully you covered the bowl prior to the shaking.  

Nutritional Info:  Don't tell your trainer you had a salad.  They won't believe you.  Approximately 300 calories and 8 grams of fat for a 1/2 cup serving.

This recipe came out of my own noggin.  You can say you knew me when.


Finally, the gazpacho.  Let me say this.  Gazpacho is not photogenic.  But it is really good and some people might have taken off on a wild hair and started dipping their chips in it.  Just go with it.

WTH is gazpacho, anyway?
Gazpacho is technically a tomato-based vegetable soup which is served cold.  I will confess that I had only maybe had it once before deciding to make it, but it turned out just lovely, if I do say so myself, and I do and I just did.

What you need:

1 cup of tomato juice
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
*Some* black pepper
4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large cucumber, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons green chiles, chopped

What you do:

First, you think, "Huh.  That doesn't seem like it going to be very soup-like with only 1 cup of tomato juice."  Decide to cast that thought aside and have a little faith.

If the idea of peeling tomatoes leaves you cold, you can use a can of stewed tomatoes, if you must.

Basically, again, just throw everything in a large glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate for *at least* one hour, although overnight is better.  You can serve it in cups or bowls lined with lettuce leaves if you want to be fancy, and I'm sure you probably do.

Finally, think, "I guess it turns out to be a lot more than I thought it was going to.  Damn.  I shouldn't have doubted Jules."  Make mental note to send a nice gift of some sort.

This recipe came from a site called and is filed under "caldos."  They claim this serves 10-12.  I'm not so sure about that.  I would say more like 8 with 3/4 cup servings.

Nutritional Info:  Sainthood:  Approximately 70 calories and maybe 1 gram of fat per 3/4 cup serving.  


NONSENSE TIME!  I have a had a busy morning already with work-work and running some errands. This afternoon, I MUST get back on track with the studying for my certification exams.  What certifications you ask?  Oh, since you asked, I'm working on my certification to be a personal trainer and in fitness nutrition.  Once I have completed those, then it is on to the yoga/pilates certification.  The material is MUCH more dense than I had anticipated.  I really kind of thought the test might be how to count to 15 reps.  ((I'm joking, obviously.))  However, in the first ten pages when they started discussing mitochondrial functions in ATP/Creotine metabolism and I read the phrase "endoplasmic reticulum" for the first time in at least 15 years, my head about exploded.

Anyway, I'll be back later with the info on the Mayan Fudge Cupcakes with Cocoa-Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting because that ought to offset all my thinking about clean living.  Balance, friends, balance.  


  1. I had just gone to the grocery store and happened to have all the ingredients for the gazpacho, so I made it! I did use a can of tomatoes and it did seem really thick, so I added half a cup more tomato juice. I am excited to try it later--it tasted good even before putting it in the fridge all night.

    1. Excellent! I was kind of surprised by the proportions myself. I hope you like it!